South Korean carmaker Hyundai plans to launch 8 new cars in India by the year 2020. One of these 8 new cars is expected to be the next-gen version of the i20 premium hatchback that will replace the Elite i20 currently on sale in India. Now, the next-gen Hyundai i20 has been spotted testing under heavy camouflage by BWS Design, in South Korea, where it has started its testing program to get it production ready for launch in the coming years.
The new i20 will be an extremely important car for Hyundai in India where there is a growing interest among customers in the premium hatchback segment. With rivals like Tata Motors preparing to attack a segment ruled by the Maruti Baleno with its upcoming 45X concept-based hatchback and Hyundai’s own premium brand, Kia, set to enter the same segment with the Rio, the new i20 will have to up its game to ensure that its rivals don’t get too far ahead.
The next-gen i20 test mule spotted in Korea is heavily camouflaged which hides most of its features from roving eyes. However, the A, B and C pillars remain unclad, which does give away a few secrets about the upcoming hatchback. Both the front and rear windows are visibly larger than the one on the current car, which does indicate more space on the inside. Also seen are what appear to be new LED taillights.
The new Hyundai is expected to be larger in size compared to the current car, which seems to be corroborated by the larger windows on the car. The new car is expected to be wider as well but is expected to weigh less and come packed with features to help it combat its rivals.
Despite being lighter, the new hatchback will have to conform with the Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP) safety norms that go into effect in October. These new safety regulations will mean that every i20 variant will come fitted with dual airbags and ABS as standard. Top-spec versions of the new i20 are expected to feature 6 airbags.
In terms of propulsion, the new i20 is expected to retain the current car’s 1.2-litre petrol and 1.4-litre diesel engines when it arrives in a few years’ time. The 1.2-litre petrol engine on the current i20 produces 82bhp and 115Nm of torque while the 1.4-litre turbo diesel cranks out 89bhp and 220Nm of torque. The petrol i20 uses a 5-speed manual transmission or a CVT automatic, while the diesel comes paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox. We expect a slight bump up in power when the engines arrive in the new i20. The revised engines will also be compliant with the new BS-VI emission norms.
We do expect a substantial hike in the price tag of the new Hyundai i20 if reports from the industry are to be believed. There are reports that car prices are set to head north as carmakers meet the new safety and emission norms. Once it arrives in India, the new i20 from Hyundai will compete with the likes of the Maruti Baleno and Tata’s 45X concept-based hatchback among others in the premium hatchback segment.